Delicate underclothes, or fine woolen or silk garments require delicate care in order to maintain their shape, texture and fit. While Woolite Extra Delicates Care washing liquids is the best-known solution to this fabric-care need, there are other options. If you have run out of Woolite, or simply prefer to save money, you can substitute other products to handle your handwashables.
A product delicate enough to use on human hair will be gentle on your fine wools, silks and other clothes which require handwashing. Use the same way you would use Woolite--add a small amount to a sink or bowl full of water (read fabric care instructions on the garment to determine appropriate water temperature). Soak the garments for 10 minutes, then rinse in fresh water.
Since it comes into contact with your hands when you wash dishes, this product should be gentle enough to handle your delicate clothes. Use the same way you would Woolite. If you have especially sensitive skin, choose a hypo-allergenic dish washing product.
Fels Naptha Soap
If you want a non-liquid alternative to Woolite, this is a good choice. Grate the soap, then make sure the soap flakes are thoroughly dissolved in water before submerging your clothes.
Dilution is the key to using this type of cleaning product for fine washables. Some brands of Castile soap come in both liquid and bar forms.